John Skaggs

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since Sep 21, 2010
Boondock, KY
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Recent posts by John Skaggs

Have often used dry legumes -beans, lentils or chana dal ground to a cornmeal consistency and combined with eggs or egg whites for filler in meatloafs, etc.  Sometimes with a lot of chopped cabbage and onion.  

Chana dal so ground also makes a fine cornmeal replacement for cornbread/dressing if shooting for a lower glycemic alternative.
3 weeks ago
This reminds me of latex concrete roofing.  I built a small shed roof as a test that has remained solid and water-tight for 10 years.  Also been very useful in sealing up odd holes in cabins, sheds and house underpinning.  Essentially, a couple layers of fiberglass flyscreen or burlap or decent shadecloth -some carpeting would surely also work, slathered in latex milk/portland cement mixture followed by more of the same with one part sand added.  Have also substituted bargain store, quality exterior latex/acrylic paint for the latex bonding agent.  Intend to use it on a larger scale when again in need of a roof.  
3 weeks ago
We have a Bartlett pear planted maybe 6 years ago that is now about 25' tall.  I do wish I'd pruned it when it was smaller.  The fruit it getting tough to reach even with a picker pole.  Most blossoms seem to have weathered the frosts this year and some fruit looks to be set.  A bumper crop the last 2 years.
1 month ago

Thank you for the offer, Johann!  Would be awesome to compare a Flamingo clone.  Let me know.  

Johann Kuntz wrote:John,

Thanks for the update!  It'll be fascinated to find out if there's any credibility to the belief that the green leaved types are bland and the red ones best flavored.  The only way that would make sense being as both types can emerge from the same batch of seed would be if the chemical compounds responsible for the color itself were directly related to the desirable flavors.  

After having tasted the named clone 'Flamingo' and finding it far superior to the specimen I had bought from an edible plant nursery I decided to start propagating 'Flamingo' for my own small specialty nursery in Washington.  Since I'll have a lot available later this year I was thinking maybe I could send you one to add into your tasting line up for comparison with your other seedlings.  I already know 'Flamingo' tastes good, but it would be really cool to see how similar or different it tastes compared to other good tasting seedlings.  

1 month ago
Sorry for the late reply.  

A quick update:

Toon trees I planted outdoors and also the ones I overwintered in pots have come awake with a near 100% survival rate.  Evidently some hardy trees.  

I have only tasted a few emerging leaves on two trees.  There seems to be a some difference when the genetic dice are rolled.  Some tree's leaves have emerged entirely green.  Others tinged in red.  Some entirely red.  Of those I have tasted, one was fairly bland.  Another very garlicky and umami.  Should sample and tag them all while the tender leaves are present.  
1 month ago
I find that lettuce is so tolerant of low light that regular LED shoplights can be used.  No special plant spectrum bulbs necessary.  
11 months ago

Kentucky Master Gardener as of this year.  The local extension office was offering the course for a song (and a bunch of volunteer hours). So why not?  Have gardened all my life in several climates, but it was interesting to see the official University of Kentucky College of Agriculture stance on everything.  Their approaches and advice do not always exactly align with my aims or methods.  But that's ok!  I still learned a lot and got to be a bit more involved in my community with folks who are interested in the same kinds of stuff.  I rate it as a thoroughly worthwhile experience.  You can check with the extension offices in your region to see when classes are offered.  I was surprised to find ours was only $20 including text book, materials and even transportation to events off-site.  

James Landreth wrote:I have some and think they're really neat. Apparently some cultivars are tastier than others. Mine have a sort of bitter taste but I like them



Fingers crossed one of the trees we keep will be palatable.  I've no idea how true to type these are from seed.  I understand lots of folks get new trees from root runners -so clones of presumably tasty trees.  
Not sure whether this belongs in the trees forum or perennial vegetables.  Being a perennial green from a tree.  Please feel free to relocate.  

Striking out at the regional nurseries when looking for the Toona sinensis trees I'd heard so much about, we bought a packet of seeds in February.  Had heard they were a little difficult to germinate, but we got around a 90% success rate in peat pellets in a rather warm room beside a furnace.  

A couple months down the line they're doing great.  Have high hopes they will thrive here in zone 6b.  Will be re-potting to some 1-gallons shortly. Currently trucking them in and out to avoid frosts. Can't wait to try the stir-fry!  

Trying a bunch of new stuff this year.

Some crucifers: Thousandhead Kale and Walking Stick Kale -going to need some serious cabbage-worm control here- planting some herbs around that allegedly help deter them.

Some greens we hadn't tried in this zone before: Malabar and New Zealand spinach

Tahitian Mellon Squash -a long-necked butternut type -saw a guy not far from here have a ridiculous yield with those last year.  

While not a vegetable in the traditional sense, a source of perennial greens Red Toon, Toona, or Chinese Mahogany trees -we've had great luck germinating a packet of seeds and now have around 60 tiny trees.  Will be fun to see how they fare.  

1 year ago